"You Just Never Know"

Here's the question--is there such a thing as fate or do we make our own destinies?

Julie and I on last week's road trip started to notice a phrase we said over and over and over again, "you just never know."

We started out on a road trip to Tucson.

About 30 miles out of town, Julie realizes she doesn't have her phone charger. I don't have a cell phone. We need the phone to make contact with the person we're meeting in Tucson. Hmm...

Option 1: Turn and go back home. Get the charger and get back on the road. This is the "set in stone" mentality. We are always fluid, so we choose option #2.

Option 2: We pull into the small town nearby and go to the WalMart to find a charger. Now, Julie has a spare to keep in her purse instead of her car. And, being in this town reminds Julie of a reader of our abandoned book who lived in that town and mentioned an abandoned site Julie and I didn't know about. I suggest we now plug the phone in and give the woman a call and see where it is. The woman decides to meet us and take us there. We meet a happy reader of our book and her beautiful family and get to explore an amazing abandoned site. And, for my first time ever, I get to do a read on an abandoned site with someone who can verify the information on the place's history.

By going with the flow instead of demanding to follow the plans, we managed to make a new friend, see a new place, and photograph a beautiful site, and as well I find another "abandoned" toy to add to my collection.

We laugh in the car and say, "you just never know."

Heading down the highway, our next plan is to get photos of an abandoned motel's sign. It has attracted our attention and we really thought it looked very retro 1960s family roadside vacation in appearance. We see the place but no exit. We drive for another 8-10 miles waiting for an exit. We have two options:

Option 1: We continue on because the next exit is the one we need to take to our final destination.

Option 2: We take the next exit and, even though it's our exit for our destination, we have time, so we turn around and get back onto the freeway and go back to the exit for the hotel to photograph a big sign. Frivolous, huh?

We choose to turn around and go back. How many times will we go past that place that looks so fascinating? So, we drive the 8-10 miles back and take the exit only to find a row of abandoned buildings, hotel, gas station, and then as we drive down them to photograph and film, we find out there are loads of abandoned places including an amazing motel behind those buildings. We get out to photograph a fascinating abandoned motel. Just gorgeous!

We wander taking pictures without paying a lot of attention. I go into a room and it's so neat, that I set up my timer and take my picture.

When I go to get my camera, I see a large black dog prowling towards me. I turn and leave the room quietly and tell Julie that there's a stray dog in there. We need to go.

Had we not turned around to take the picture of the sign, we wouldn't have found the amazingly photographic hotel, but had I not taken a picture of myself in the hotel, we would have walked into the dog's room and cornered him unsuspectingly.

We laugh in the car as we drive off, "you never know!"

Everything that day was serendipitous and we ended up repeating that phrase many times. Were we supposed to not have the phone jack, meet the family and see the abandoned place, turn around and go back to photograph a sign and photograph an amazing motel and happen to realize a stray dog is in there and leave safely?

No, that was no convoluted master plan, it was us moving forward with decisions and then doing so with adaptability. The universe repaid us with lots of amazing finds and a safe and happy trip on the way down and the way back and that is simply because we said, "why not?" and then answered it with "you just never know."


  1. I will agree with "you just never know."

    A number of times while out "snooping around" different places I go I never really know what's going to be there or what I will find. This is one reason I take my .45 cal along with me, cause I just "never know."

    However, most of the time I never really run into anything that I'm fearful of. I just have to be careful on what's around me or what could be there.

    I also meet and talk with people that I've never seen before and have no idea who they are. My camera set-up that I carry usually draws some attention or get's a conversation started. "Thats quite a Camera you have there" is common for them to say.

    Just yesterday while out on a photo shoot over at the Blue Marsh Dam area, I was watching some "Amish Girls" launch a canoe and 2 Kayaks. I've never seen these people do that before. So, like you said "You never know."

  2. Wow! Great trip! You followed the flow of the Universe and got a great gift in return. Wonderful post.

  3. LOL! Me and "D" do stuff like that a lot! We see something and he'll say, "you want to keep going or go back and check that place out?" A lot of the time, we turn around off the course of our planned route and find really cool stuff! Because, like y'all said, "ya just never know!"

  4. The world does open up for the curious and close off for those who think they know how it works already.

  5. The unplanned trips where wonderful things happen are usually my favorites. That was truly a fantastic trip. I am so glad we decided to go for it instead of turning back.

  6. I love traveling with you, sis. You indulge me. If a road looks interesting or a building in the distance looks cool, you'll let me turn around, drive over washboard, schlepping our cameras and all into the god-forsaken desert to learn something new we never realized before or some magical place that we would never have known existed if we didn't just meander. I hope you're ready to do it again soon cause it's coming up!

  7. I know what you mean (though, in truth, ya just never know!)Some of my most significant and life-altering events occurred because I was willing to keep an open mind, and to try something different that was a little out of my comfort zone.

  8. Like when you went on a ghost hunt with us? Yup. You just never know.

  9. MM;
    I'm not a believer in fate and I also hate self-pity. I think we can't control outside elements like bad weather or lunatics on the road, but we can be adaptable as human beings and that is why we have survived so long on this earth. I also don't believe anything is out to get me. Just because I exist doesn't mean the universe and others owe me anything at all or need to take my goals and needs into account. I think we can take anything that happens and make it either a learning experience or a goofy memory.


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